No, actually, its about confronting stupidity.

I’ve been bitten repeatedly by dumb shit people say, who’s doing the biting ? me, my tongue has been bloodied so many times in the last few months because I have a phobia of exposing people as idiots.

Perhaps I’m a little unsure of my self or the superiority of my grasp of facts, but I just can’t bring myself to call out idiotic statements. Perhaps its also because I’m out numbered; the dumb is numerous.

Instead I rant about the day’s topic on twitter or in these pages, how delightfully high-schoolishly stupid.

Admissions

Yes. The dumb I’m referring to more often than not watches fox news, is republican or certainly rants about democrats and liberals a lot, such as this gem: “everyone who works for the government is a democrat” implying every government employee is a mindless blue leech.

The only time I’ve challenged such idiocy is when it comes to energy. Don’t fuck with facts on energy around me, I’ll usually win if the only thing you watch is network news and the only thing you read is USAToday. (more accurately if you only watch fox news and the only thing you read is the subway menu)

Fox news told me “we have 60 gagillion barrells of oil and Obama is just a liberal environmental pussy”

Riight. The old “Green River Formation” salvation line from the Government Accountability Report. Except its not oil, its Kerogen, USGS analysis says “good luck” and Shell/Exxon have been trying for the best part of 30 years to figure out how to bring it to market.

But no, don’t let my 3-5hrs of reading multiple opinions of scientists, geologists, oil market experts and energy bloggers cast doubt upon a 2 minute segment where fox news can point the finger at Obama for high gas prices.

That was the one and only time I made someone feel like an idiot, and I did it in a kind way. “Well perhaps the gubmint should invest more in developing the resource” was the gentle outcome, to which I can nod and tacitly agree.

Example ?

A few hours of light reading in an area of interest can bring deeper understanding and usually cast doubt upon anything that comes from any number of talking heads.

Every time I hear this dumb shit, I cant help but notice it’s more self assurance than anything else, mainly because I’m mute; I don’t agree and I don’t argue a contrary point.

One day it might reach a head, probably due to some event, say a re-doubling of oil prices, a terrorist attack, a catastrophic weather event, where the catalog responses from the incurious will be:

Obama wont drill for more oil ! – We’re experiencing an oil boom and everyone from here to North Dakota thinks our non-opec contribution will save us all. You really don’t have the mental stamina to handle this truth.

Terrorists hate our freedoms ! – They also hate modern crusades, nuanced geopolitics aren’t your strong suit are they ?

Climate change is a hoax ! – I … I really don’t have the time for this, here, read this.

Oh, right, sorry, unless it’s fed to you from a boob tube from an authoritative figure it’s not trustworthy ? Just STFU.

JTF Guantanamo

Most recently I am in a tizzy over this 1st prize comment: “I can’t understand the obsession with closing Guantanamo”

We’ll, that’s because you haven’t tried hard enough to understand what’s actually going on.

We’re holding people in Guantanamo who for the most part are not the “worst of the worst” but simply people who picked up arms against an invading force, or perhaps traveled to a country which was attacked, for medical treatment, or to visit family and where simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Roughly 80 people have been cleared for release; deemed no threat to us at all, but the President doesn’t want to send them home, because home is somewhere we are engaged in a semi-covert war.

Many of these people are held outside our justice system and thanks to the 2001 Authorization to use Military Force, those that reach trial are tried in military courts, where charges are not disclosed and the defense is routinely spied upon, this is akin to suspension of habeas corpus.

It is un-American to engage in such activity, to only acknowledge international law when convenient, which is increasingly: Never.

A further nugget “I trusted Bush when he said the Geneva Convention is for uniformed personnel only” There’s that annoying deference to authority which I despise.

Did you look that up ? no. Read this.

Do you want to live in a country that re-interprets international treaties for application domestically?

Perhaps one who’s government recently ratified and cemented powers in the AUMF into the last National Defense Authorization Act whereby Section 1021 allows the same detention powers domestically on suspicion of aiding “associated forces” Read this.

I can’t help you, I’m sorry

For a group of people who rail against the intervention of government in their own lives “conservatives” (neo-cons, neo-liberal economists ?) aren’t challenging government where it counts: on its unchecked power to make life a living hell in the face of uncomfortable criticism or actions deemed to be against state interests.

I’ve heard so many stories about how arms will be taken up against the government, or secession of states, simply because persons think Obama is driving the country into the ground, or that he’s going to take the only thing that matters, your gun.

Newsflash: how we treat others and how we retain our moral high ground, how we can exercise press freedom and meaningfully criticize the state is just as important as any gun. How we treat “the other” yes, even those “worst of the worst” in Guantanamo, especially those killed without trial in foreign lands, feeds exclusively into our future, one of increasing militarism, isolation and persecution.

If we stand idly by as our government persecutes, murders and indefinitely detains even those whom we deem to be evil, we have no excuse to feign surprise when similar machinery is turned upon us or those we deem a lot less evil.

That is why people are obsessed with closing Gitmo, it’s about what you want this great country to be in the future.

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